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Nov 3, 2020

Santa Cruz and Bella Vista are Placed on Curfew

The Banana Growers Association initially requested that thirteen communities be placed on curfew; however, only two have been restricted by Statutory Instrument, one-fifty-six and one-fifty-seven.  Chairman Antonio Zabaneh says that a majority of the labour force for the banana industry comes from Santa Cruz and Bella Vista.  Toledo East Area Representative Mike Espat, whose constituency includes Bella Vista, questions the effectiveness of such a move considering that while labourers are kept from socializing at night, the likelihood of transmission is actually during the day when that are at work on the various farms.

 

On the Phone: Mike Espat, Area Representative, Toledo East

“That was a position taken by the banana growers and I guess it is to prevent any problems later on down the road in regards to shipping bananas out of this country and they are concerned that that is one of the industries that produces most of the U.S dollars that we need at this time.  So the curfew is at night, from eight o’clock in the night until the morning when they go back to work again.  So I guess that is to stop them from socializing at night and drinking and not really taking care of themselves.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“How effective, should I say, is such a move to place a curfew at night when in fact some of these very individuals do pile on to a bus in the morning to go to work in the various farms?”

 

Mike Espat

“Well, you know, that is the argument, that they all load up in a bus early in the morning, they’re all close together and once they get in the field then they are separated, but under the packing shed they are all close again to one another.  So what they will need to do to make sure is to start testing the people that are going to work.”


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